Community-Based Organizations

Community-based organizations (CBOs) are critical partners in the Chicago Connected initiative. CBOs will conduct outreach to families to support enrollment in the Chicago Connected program, provide newly-connected households with digital literacy and skills development training, and connect households with other critical resources.

The Chicago Connected CBO Application is now open! Please click here to download the Chicago Connected CBO Grant Application Guidelines & Process. The Chicago Connected CBO Application is available here. The application window closes Monday, July 13th, at 5 PM.

CBOs will be responsible for conducting outreach activities, providing newly-connected households with digital literacy and skills development training, and connecting households to additional resources and services.

Chicago Connected will fund CBOs to:

  • Eliminate internet accessibility as a barrier for eligible CPS households to access digital learning content;
  • Provide newly-connected households with digital literacy and skills development training and resources; and
  • Connect households with critical resources and services available through partner CBOs, the City of Chicago, and other institutions.

Up to 30 CBOs will be chosen through a transparent, competitive process that focuses resources on communities with the largest percentage of disconnected households.

CBOs will be responsible for carrying out several deliverables:

  • Conduct outreach activities to sign up eligible households to receive free high-speed internet service
  • Provide newly-connected households with digital literacy training and support with content from Chicago Public Library as well as supplementary curricular offerings designed to serve a wide-variety of household needs and interests. This curated content will equip households with the power to create an individualized learning plan -- from developing online safety and job readiness skills, to accessing telehealth resources, completing the census online, and registering to vote
  • Connect newly-connected households to critical support services, including food, housing, employment, and healthcare assistance

CBOs must also be able to track progress and share impact with funders. Metrics will include target households connected, digital literacy workshops held, and the skills, credentials, and certifications earned by participating households.

Please click here to download the Chicago Connected CBO Grant Application Guidelines & Process. The Chicago Connected CBO Application is available here. The application window closes Monday, July 13th, at 5 PM.

Chicago Connected is accepting proposals from direct service providers capable of providing outreach and basic technology training services to eligible households. The Chicago Connected CBO partner review committee will consider competitive proposals from organizations using a holistic approach to connect eligible households and provide digital literacy and skills development training.

A total allocation of $2.5 million will be distributed among participating organizations over the first year of the initiative, with a minimum award of $50,000 per organization.

Children First Fund (CFF) will lead the CBO application and selection process on behalf of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and the City of Chicago.

PRIORITIZING FACTORS

  • Geographic priorities: In order to ensure that communities with large percentages of disconnected households are prioritized for support in this effort, we have used a comprehensive evaluation of overall community need to identify communities where CBO support will be essential. The list of prioritized communities and the methodology used to identify communities can be found here.
  • Intersectional & Data-Driven: Priority will be given to organizations with a track record of success providing services that are cross-cutting and driven by real-time data.

To be eligible to participate in Chicago Connected, CBOs must:

  • Have 501(c)3 status and can accept funds
  • Currently operate in one or more priority communities, including staff living and/or working in the area(s) you serve
  • Have track record of using data for continuous improvement
  • Have ability and is willing to share aggregate data and program results with Chicago Connected stakeholders

All applications will receive a comprehensive evaluation using transparent scoring criteria. For more information regarding the selection criteria, please click here to view the Chicago Connected CBO Grant Application Guidelines & Process.

The CFF will oversee and monitor CBO progress and disburse funds on behalf of CPS and the City of Chicago.

Page Last Modified on Wednesday, July 01, 2020